August 21, 2020
Where do Cloves come from?
Clove comes from the flower buds of the Syzygium aromaticum tree, which is an evergreen. The tree can grow up to 12 meters tall, with large leaves and red flowers. The begin, the flowers are pale, gradually turn green, then to a bright crimson when they are ready for harvest.
The spice is part of the Myrtaceaefamily along with Guava and Myrtle and are native to the Maluku Islands, or Moluccas, in Indonesia. The spice was so popular that there was once an island chain known as the Spice Islands, where clove was traded.
How is it produced?
The flower buds from the clove tree are harvested before they turn red, in their immature state and are then dried either in the sun or in an air-tight mason jar. The clove will be ready once it has turned brown and lost two thirds of its original weight.
Cloves are considered the fourth most expensive spice on the market, just behind Cardamom pods (our previous spice of the week). This is due to its many uses and the locations of where this beautiful spice is grown and produced.
What are Cloves used for?
Cloves can be used whole or ground, and they have a very strong, pungent flavour and aroma.
The flavour comes from the compound eugenol. When consumed, you will notice some heat and also a slight drying of the mouth. This is similar to other warm spices including nutmeg and cinnamon. These three spices are often combined to make the perfect pumpkin pie!
Cloves are used to flavour sauces, soups and rice dishes, and traditional Indian dishes. Along with the Star Anise and Cardamom pods, Cloves are also used in the ‘Garam Masala’ blend of spices. Cloves, when whole are usually picked out of the dish before eating, as Cloves have a very hard, woody texture. Cloves are also present in many desserts, usually around the festive season, for example, a tasty eggnog.
Cloves also have health benefits; they are high in antioxidants, which can reduce oxidant stress. Cloves can kill bacteria and some research even shows that Cloves can protect against cancer by stopping the growth of tumours and killing cancer cells. Cloves could improve liver health, regulate blood sugar, may promote bone health, and may reduce stomach ulcers. With all these benefits, what’s not to love about this extraordinary spice!
Another common use for Cloves is in the beauty industry. They appear in many scented perfumes due to their warm and sweet scent. So along with tasting great and many health benefits, Cloves also smell amazing too!
Joy Everley Jewellery Inspiration
There are many customisable pieces inspired by the Clove available in our online store. The inspiration for which is rooted in Joy’s personal experiences with the spice both inside and outside the home. Joy's most prominent memory of Cloves was seeing the huge piles of spices in East Asian markets and the exotic aroma that paired with this wonderful sight. Each Clove charm is life size, meaning that when you wear it, it is just like wearing the real spice! These pieces from The Spice Collection make for a wonderful gift, especially around Christmas due to its uses in festive cooking.
Written by Cate Riley.
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